HEY LOOK! Fashion brands that are utilizing video content in a way that doesn’t degrade us all!
Like a filth soaked sponge, our eyes, ears and minds are totally saturated with advertising images 24/7 (and also in our case fantasies of being verbally disciplined by Jeremy Paxman.) Unless we were to wait in a dimly lit cupboard until the demise, this constant bombardment is unavoidable. We all know this, and therefore proceed with shoulders hunched and ears closed through the volley of sales messages that now comprises existence. We fast forward through ad breaks, ignore billboards and roll our eyes at product placement in music videos, films and TV; totally savvy to the cynical tie-wearing Don Drapers of the world who have placed the can of Dr. Pepper in Bruce Willis’ greasy pulsating mit.
However, instead of curling up and weeping in a tight ball until it’s all over you could do this; be rewarded for you attention, be interested, be listened to and be engaged. People don’t like advertising (obviously) they like stories, rewards, interaction and depth. Fashion brands are amongst the best advertisers to fully harness this idea, as inexplicably, people actually LIKE fashion anyway, and don’t mind getting involved.
Here’s some fashion brands we’ve noticed who are creating video engagement that kicks ass and takes names.
First Up is our man Mr.Wang. Alexander Wang does mental things and films them. Simple. But for a brand that prides itself on a sensible, minimalist, ascetic aesthetic this is sort of counter intuitive. Where are the scowling, elegant malnourished people beckoning us into their faux elegant, decadent world? Nowhere to be seen! However by taking a direction that no one expected, that engages humor in place of frowning and pouting and mocking the very serious high-fashion world that it comes from, Wang engages, challenges and involves his audience. It is the fashion equivalent of a banking CEO walking into a press conference with a dildo strapped to his head. He has dropped the sheeny advertising front and broken the fourth wall. Of course people love it! Wang has staged and filmed events that have played with the fash-pack that attend them, the viewers and the brand’s image. Fashionistas nearly beating each other to death for a new bag at a live event as Klaxons sound in the background. Genius.
ASOS – Urban Tour
Asos have also played with the idea of mixing film with live events on their Asos Urban tour. They take things a step further than Wang (we like typing “Wang”) by making the videos themselves interactive using a combination of high-quality film with HTML and flash technology.
The film itself showcased some of the world’s best street dancers. Each dancer had an interactive button attached to them. When a viewer brought their cursor close the dancers they could control time, freezing the video or having one character’s speed isolated. From this a menu appears giving customers options to know more about the dancers and also what they are wearing. They could add items to their baskets as well as being provided with sizing and colour information.
This innovative video won 6 awards and raised the bar in interactive video. We like.
Urban Outfitters- Culture curators
Urban outfitters took a different tack. They decided to become culture curators. By this we mean they did things entirely unrelated to their clothing brand, they hosted live music shows in their stores, they followed bands on tour and they made weird-ass videos that make no sense. In this way their brand becomes a trusted arbiter of trends and products rather then someone trying to sell you something. Their short online videos feature their products being misused by a weird ginger guy. The products shown in the videos look pointless, but their brand looks dope. Perfect.
People have to CHOOSE to watch these videos, it is an interaction between viewer and the brand, people google them, share them, watch and re-watch. We are not talking about the dreaded “viral” we are talking about niche engagement that doesn’t patronize and doesn’t talk AT the audience but talks WITH them. Next time you fast-forward an ad to watch the second half of Denise Van Outen’s Nudist Teenage Fat Camp (or what ever if is you sick puppies watch these days) think about that snowboarding video you googled today or that bizarre Russian tampon ad that your friend sent you and realise advertising has totally changed.